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Communication Among Honeybees In every bee hive there are three types of bees a queen drones and many workers The lone queen honeybee is a fertile female while the drone honeybees are males that are exclusively used for reproduction It is the many worker honeybees infertile females that are responsible for foraging for food For hundreds of years biologists and naturalists have noticed that the worker honeybees do not all go out to search for food at the same time but rather send out scouts ahead These scout honeybees locate the food return to the hive and then the rest of the workers go to collect the rest of the food Many scientists dating back to Aristotle have been baffled by how the worker bees are able to locate the food sought out by the scouts How do the scout and worker honeybees communicate in the hive to alert each other where to forage for the food In 1943 an Austrian entomologist Karl von Frisch hypothesized that the scouts were able to communicate the necessary information to the other worker bees by moving in specific patterns after returning to the hive He called this movement the waggle dance Karl von Frisch said that the waggle dance of the honeybee was able to communicate the distance the direction and even the type and amount of food to the other worker honeybees He published his findings in a book called The Dance Language and Orientation of Bees and later received the noble prize in 1973 for his breakthroughs in animal behavior Before he published his findings Karl von Frisch spent years experimenting and recording observations to try and solve the mystery of honeybee communication He started by placing a dish filled with sugar water a short distance from a bee hive He noticed that immediately after placing the dish outside the dish was swarmed with many honeybees As the dish continued to empty
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